Artifact #2: Multicultural Teacher Interview Paper (TE 822)

Artifact #2: Multicultural Teacher Interview Paper (TE 822)
Program Goals:
1, 3
Standards: 1, 2, 6

            This artifact, from TE 822:  Issues of Culture in Classroom and Curriculum, is an analysis of my interview with a multicultural teacher in an International Baccalaureate (IB) elementary school.  Through interviewing, analyzing, and connecting my realizations to scholarly works, I gained a profound understanding of how an effective educator addressed the needs of a diverse student body within the classroom and curriculum by integrating multicultural pedagogies and practices.

            I identified and selected Ms. Berlin as a model multicultural educator because she came highly recommended by a colleague whose child was formerly in Berlin’s class.  I arranged an after school meeting in her classroom and obtained information via both a verbal and hands-on interview where Ms. Berlin shared detailed unit plans, reviewed unique samples of student work, and showcased photographs and bulletin boards that accompany units of study.  Working with Ms. Berlin, an educator from a neighboring school district, is an example that supports my ability to create and pursue a professional development opportunity to learn from an exemplary peer (Standard 6).  I was also able to share my findings about multicultural education with my co-workers in my own school (Goal 3).  This artifact is evidence of my commitment to students and their diversity based on my proactive investigation of the various aspects of a classroom and curriculum that is multicultural by design (Standards 1, 2 & Goal 1).  The interview and writing process taught me how to better integrate multicultural content in to my practice through the review of a modern learning community.  This multicultural analysis signifies my greater understanding of designing curriculum based on the needs of a diverse student body (Standard 2).  The importance of “big ideas” to structure classroom inquiry, with the inclusion of state grade level expectations woven into the curriculum, emerged as the most integral aspect of designing learning within a modern classroom.  This type of teaching enables more effective learning because the K-5 IB program’s “6 big ideas” act as a consistent academic framework, which largely removes the need for annual recalibration and engenders deeper student understanding (Standard 2).

            By reviewing and reflecting on another teacher’s practice, I was able to enhance my own teaching strategies.  Instead of simply reading about a multicultural curriculum in scholarly articles and textbooks, I was able to witness firsthand the ideal dynamics and tangible outcomes of an academic structure that is already in motion.  This process allowed me to see the benefits of investigating and researching the practice of successful veteran multicultural educators.  It has truly impacted the way that I teach, as I now utilize my students as curriculum by more seamlessly integrating their cultures and backgrounds into the curriculum.  I now know the importance of using big ideas to shape curriculum and the necessity of using students and their cultures as an integral component of the curriculum.  By applying multiple lenses to my teaching practice, I am better able to critique my own methodologies and integration of multicultural curriculum within my classroom.

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